The chairman of Haryana RERA’s Gurgaon bench has said the real estate law applies to all projects, irrespective of the date of completion. This means anyone with a grievance against a realtor can approach the Real Estate Regulatory Authority and the complaint will be taken up.
KK Khandelwal said that RERA can adjudicate in any dispute between a seller and a buyer in a real estate project, even if that project has received a completion certificate before the law came into effect on May 1, 2017.
Based on the central law, states have enacted and notified their own RERA rules. In Haryana — Gurgaon, in particular — buyers complained that developers were being let off the hook as the rules mentioned that those projects which had received completion certificates before May 1, 2017, would not come under the purview of RERA. The law also specifies the kind of projects that are covered — on a minimum plot size of 500 square meters and with more than eight units.
In this light, Khandelwal’s interpretation is significant, not only for homebuyers in Haryana but also other states who have had complaints about the scope of the real estate law. Haryana RERA’s other bench in Panchkula recently passed an order in favour of a buyer, Sanju Jain, who had filed a case against TDI Infrastructure for not fulfilling its sale agreement obligations. The developer had argued the project was completed before RERA came into effect and, therefore, did not come under its purview.
But the Panchkula bench cited Section 11 of RERA to observe that a project’s promoter has to fulfil sales agreement obligations, and nowhere is it mentioned in the RERA rules that only promoters of projects registered under RERA need to comply.
Besides, Section 34 (f) of the RERA says the regulator must ensure all stakeholders, including developers, fulfil their obligations. Therefore, the RERA bench, according to Khandelwal, is well within its right to adjudicate on any real estate project.
Khandelwal said a close reading of the central RERA would show that it does not specify that the law applied to registered projects only. He also said he has received complaints from buyers in completed projects against developers who have not met all obligations in the sales agreement and general rules, and Haryana RERA was entertaining such complaints.